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Our Indian Contemporary Style

Storytelling is at the core of every project that we do. Our style is rooted in Bharathanatyam technique, from which we take grace, body control, and expression. We then infuse our projects with elements of other art forms, including classical and folk dances from India and around the world, a diverse range of music, and research in literature and visual art. We love to explore the points where ancient and contemporary collide, both in terms of dance style and the fusion of art and technology. We are Indian classical dancers presenting art for a modern and global age. 

A Bharathanatyam Background

Bharathanatyam is regarded as the oldest Indian classical dance form. Although it is over 2000 years old, it is still highly popular worldwide. Its name is derived from the signature elements that make up the form: bhaava (expression), raaga (melody), 
 (rhythm), and naatya (stagecraft). 


At Noor, students are trained in the Vazhuvoor style of Bharathanatyam, which was created by Vazhuvoor Ramaiah Pillai and further developed by his disciples, including Chitra Visweswaran and Guru Rhadha, whose respective students (Kausalya Srinivasan and Sunanda Narayanan) in turn trained Shachi. The Vazhuvoor style differs from other forms of Bharathanatyam due to its more lyrical movements, extreme precision in pure dance segments, and realistic (as opposed to theatrical) expressions. 


At the core of a student's Noor dance education is a traditional Bharathanatyam curriculum or maargam. This consists of studying basic postures of the hands, feet, eyes, neck, and head (hasta and bheda), movement combinations (adavu), and choreography including Pushpanjali, Alarippu, Jatiswaram, Padam, Varnam, Thillana, and more. As students develop their skills, they learn to compose and choreograph on their own. Once they have completed their initial study, students undertake a year of specialized training in preparation for their Arangetram, or solo dance debut. 

A Focus on Versatility

Versatility is one of the guiding principles at Noor Dance Academy. All of our dancers, whether student or professional, are constantly growing, learning and evolving as performers. In class, students learn movement techniques from ballet, hip-hop, jazz, and other forms of dance. Our students work with experts in a variety of dance styles as well as professional musicians, videographers, and directors. Students are taught all aspects of production, beyond just performance, including staging, costuming, choreography, and direction. Our dancers are well-rounded, consummate performers. 

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